Mozambique moves towards formulation of national urban policy

UN Habitat
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Representatives of the government of Mozambique have met for the First Policy Directive Council towards the development of the National Urbanisation Policy.

The multi-ministerial team was approved by the Council of Ministers as the decision-making body to coordinate the National Urbanisation Policy (NUP) formulation process.

Vice Minister of State Administration and Public Function Inocêncio Impissa led the meeting, given that the process has the institutional leadership of that ministry which has been mandated to coordinate the Directive Council as the key governance body in the elaboration process, and has the responsibility of supervising a technical-scientific committee and a technical team to draft the policy.

“With this meeting we intend to give a substantial impulse for the National Urbanisation Policy to become a reality still in the present mandate,” said Impissa.

The body is  comprised of the Ministers of State Administration and Public Function (MAEFP), Public Works, Housing and Water Resources (MOPHRH), Land and Environment (MTA), Transport and Communications (MTC), Economy and Finance (MEF), Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER), Industry and Trade (MIC), Education and Human Development (MINEDH) and Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES), was approved by the Council of Ministers as the decisional body.

Mozambique is urbanizing rapidly, both in urban and rural areas. The urbanization process is driven by the search for economic opportunities in cities, being secondary cities and metropolitan areas the fastest urbanizing, but also due to natural disasters and conflict-induced displacements. The urban population increased from approximately 1 million at the country’s independence in 1975 to approximately 11 million by 2020.  The recent violence and conflict in the Cabo Delgado Province have further accelerated the urban growth of some cities and towns in the north, as affected communities have sought safety in urban areas.

In Mozambique, since the 1st National Urban Forum in 2018, the growing awareness of the above mentioned issues has led to the emergence of the need to formulate a National Urbanisation Policy.

The main focus of this first Directive Council meeting was to start guiding the National Urbanisation Policy elaboration, that will represent for Mozambique a concrete opportunity to capitalise on the potential of urban areas by increasing and better managing investments in cities, creating jobs and sustainably accommodating rapid population growth.

“For UN-Habitat this is a very important agenda. It is important to work with the government. The President of Mozambique requested our technical support and we appreciate this opportunity” said Sandra Roque the Head of Office, UN-Habitat Mozambique.

A robust debate followed the presentations, reflecting the challenges, considerations, and opportunities that Mozambique faces in pursuing a sustainable urban development agenda and how the Government of Mozambique can provide a valuable forum for insight and support for the Country to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Vice Ministry of Transport and Communications, Amilton Alissone, highlighted  that the II National Urnan Forum Report has a good basis for the policy as it manages to capture the different issues the country faces towards sustainable urbanisation and  recommended to emphasise mobility issues that are directly related to urbanisation dynamics.  Fernando Boane de Sousa, Vice Minister of Land and Environment discussed how climate issues are shaping the country’s development efforts and the role of territorial planning instruments in building climate resilient human settlements.

The MAEFP is supported by UN-Habitat Mozambique as part of the Technical Team that serves as the secretariat to the Steering Committee and the facilitating body of the Technical-Scientific Committee for the formulation of the Policy.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Habitat.

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